Bedard picks up first Sox win

191542.jpg

Bedard picks up first Sox win

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- Erik Bedard hadnt received much by way of run support this season.

He entered Saturdays game against the Texas Rangers with an average of just 3.30 runs of support in 21 outings with the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox.

His new teammates changed all that in one inning.

Down 3-0, the Red Sox scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth and sent 13 batters to the plate. Jarrod Saltalamacchia kicked off the offensive attack with a two-run homerun and Carl Crawford smacked a grand slam, locking in Bedards first W with the team.

Bedard threw six innings (six strikeouts, five hits, three earned runs, four walks) for his first victory since June 15. His last start, in which he threw four scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics, was cut short by a rain delay and resulted in a no decision.

The Red Sox were happy to go to bat -- literally -- for their starting pitcher. Five players had multi-hit games and the team had 16 collectively.

Youre not going to quiet this offense that long, Bedard said, And its a matter of time before they scored a lot of runs. And we did.

Terry Francona praised Bedard for halting the Rangers bats, which scored three runs through the first three innings.

It starts out where theyre scoring and it seems like theyre tacking on, and hes able to stop it, Francona said. He actually had a bunch of strikeouts there for a while. And then we have the big inning and the game gets completely turned around.

Francona also noted that he thought Bedard was still battling with soreness in his left knee, which he believed contributed to early control issues. Bedard said he felt a little sore at the start of the game but loosened up as the game went on.

I would say a lot of it (control) is with his knee, Francona said. I think theres still some soreness and some instability there. He ends up throwing with his arm more than his body. As much as you want pitchers to keep their legs under them, I think at times its a little hard for him still. Probably going to have to fight that a little bit.

Soreness wont stop Bedard from continuing to fight on the mound. After earning his first win with the Red Sox, he emphasized his goals for the team.

Its nice, he said. At the end of the day, its for the team. If we win the game at the end of the day and I pitch good and we play good, thats all that counts.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.